The Kechara Ensign

What It Means:


Having to work in urban societies – in the city, among buildings, traffic, people, parking, congestion, smoke and smog really takes a toll on one’s body and mind. Sometimes we really need to go to a place of peace, healing and recovery. Because of this, I conceptualised and founded Kechara Forest Retreat with my close members and since then, it has grown and we are still in the process of building Phase 1 and Phase 2. What is beautiful is that at the entrance of Kechara Forest Retreat, we have a set of flag poles with three flags displayed.

The centre which is the most prominent and most respectful position is adorned by the Malaysian flag. This represents our love, our loyalty, our appreciation and our respect towards our country and where we are, Malaysia. May Malaysia always grow, always be at peace, harmonious and prosperous. We wish the best to all our Malaysian people, the government and the public.

The second flag, on the left, which is the second highest position of respect, is the flag of Pahang state. Malaysia has 13 states, and each state has its own flag. So, on the left is a flag representing the state that Kechara Forest Retreat is in, which is Pahang state, and we show our deepest respect, appreciation and love towards the state of Pahang where we abide. For those who are international, Pahang state where we are located is just 45 minutes to an hour’s drive from our national capital of Kuala Lumpur.

The third flag, on the right, is the flag of Kechara, which is newly designed by myself. Its white background represents a clean, clear, luminous mind – the mind that has no pollution, no distortions and no projections. The mind is clean, luminous and clear. Therefore it should actually be a clear flag but that is pretty impossible to do, so I put it on a white background representing the clear, luminous mind of enlightenment, of the state of peace and the state of happiness which we strive to achieve.

In the centre is the Sanskrit seed syllable of Vajrayogini’s mind. This seed syllable is called the BAM letter. The BAM letter represents Vajrayogini’s mind, which is a Buddha mind, and we wish to achieve the Buddha mind. All of us wish to achieve full enlightenment. So on a clear, luminous mind, we are fully enlightened – that’s the symbology of the flag. At the same time, the BAM represents the conjunction, the smooth operation and the smooth interactions of the four elements of our body. When the four elements of our body: earth, air, water and fire are in conjunction and harmonious, then the mind will be able to generate better thoughts, happier thoughts and spiritual thoughts. The last meaning (in simplicity) for the BAM letter is the dissolution of the elements in our body, the dissolution of our mind and the various states that our mind goes through at the time of death, which equals the next step that is after death (which is bardo), and then rebirth.

The BAM letter in subtle Tantric meaning, which I can’t go into detail here, is the dissolution of the gross mind into the subtle mind, and into the stages until you reach the top of the BAM letter where you see a squiggle. So the top of the squiggle and the dissolution of that is the gross mind dissolving into the subtle mind, the subtle mind dissolving and leaving the body, and ejecting it into the bardo, into the future life. So the BAM syllable has that meaning in Tantra, which is according to Vajrayogini’s path. Last but not least, the BAM syllable represents that Kechara is a portal into the mind of Vajrayogini, to become Vajrayogini, and to ascend to Kechara Paradise. Vajrayogini’s paradise is called Kechara in Sanskrit; in Tibetan, it is called Dakpo Kachö. So Kechara is named after the divine paradise of Vajrayogini which we wish all ascend to. Therefore, Kechara’s flag is based on Vajrayogini’s mind and the mind of enlightenment, and the balance of the four elements within our body for peace, harmony and happiness, as well as the mind that is luminous, clear and happy.

May all who enter Kechara, who see Kechara, who think of Kechara and has anything to do with Kechara be blessed by all the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and deities in the form of Vajrayogini. May they reach Her paradise here on earth, and afterwards when they leave the earth.

Now that we have our flag poles here and they are in front, we are celebrating, saluting and showing deep respects to our beloved country of Malaysia, our beautiful and beloved state of Pahang, and also to the full mind of enlightenment. Here is a short video that was taken and also a picture, and I want to make a little note that Pastor Moh Mei worked very hard in getting the flags stitched up according to my design, on time for our special event that happened today which you can read on another blogpost.

Tsem Rinpoche



The entrance of Kechara Forest Retreat in Pahang state, Malaysia




Flag of Malaysia


Flag of Pahang


Flag of Kechara


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